Addict and non-addict drug dealers in Istanbul, Turkey: Profiles and differences

Ali Ünlü, Oğuzhan Ömer Demir


The objective of this study is to explore profiles of and differences between addict and non-addict street-level drug dealers. This is a cross-sectional study using the data of street-level drug dealers who were captured in 2008 by Istanbul Narcotics Police (N=486). Most of the street-level drug dealers were male, drug addict, had limited education and lower income, and more than half had past criminal records. Addict dealers and non-addict dealers are found significantly different from each other as far as the gender, income, amount of seized substance, type of seized substance, the number of arrested dealers in the same group, and past criminal records. The drug business usually works on people who know the underground drug world, but not the ones who have problems with substances. Addict dealers may play roles in this business for enjoyment and/or requirement. Addict dealers are also more likely to be arrested alone, which may indicate that they work for themselves and their ultimate aim is to afford drugs for their personal use and make money for their needs.


Drug Dealers, Drugs, Addiction, Istanbul

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